look at ways in which our boards can connect in meaningful ways. On another occasion, Joe
Cipfl, Dan and I were able to start talking about the transitions that our students make, coming
from elementary to secondary and moving into a community college or four-year institution, and
what we can do to assure those smooth transitions, what we can do to assure that all of our
students are ready for that next level. The nature of our students has changed from the time that
you and I went to school. Many times, our students are not making natural sequences but they are
taking sojourns into the workforce, raising families, changing majors, and changing directions.
We need to be able to assure that they can enter and exit in a prepared way for any program that
they’re ready to pursue.
“One of the things that my board and I talked about were ways in which we can build
upon an emerging foundation of collaboration, ways in which we can through our efforts at board
levels and at executive levels assure that what is happening has scope and sequence. We are
ultimately interested in breaking down whatever may be perceived as any kind of barriers to
communication and collaboration. We want to assure that among our boards and the executives
of those boards, we can find some solutions to some of the vexing problems that we’re facing.
“In my previous life in other places, I’ve had long-standing responsibilities and
relationships with deans and college presidents and universities. I’ve had the opportunity to
administer those levels as well as teach at those levels, and I hope from my experience in the field
in K-12 that together we can find ways to continue placing the Illinois education system foremost
in our country. One of the things I’m most proud of is to be able to join a state where it is
recognized that its higher education system is indeed the foremost higher education system in the
nation. For me to be able to be a part in some way of helping to build on that by helping our
2.2 million students be better prepared – whether they go into the workforce, go to community
colleges, or go on to the universities – so that when they come to your public and private
institutions they are best prepared. Mr. Lesnik, on behalf of my board chair, Mr. Gidwitz, and my
board, we stand ready to work hand-in-glove with Dan and with the community college system
and anyone else to make sure that Illinois’ education is second to none. Thank you.”
Chairman Lesnik thanked Dr. Schiller for his remarks, saying, “We appreciate your
presence here today and what it symbolizes and demonstrates to the higher education community
of Illinois. We are happy to have you here in the state. Our gain is the loss of both Maryland and
2. Remarks by Naomi Lynn, Interim President, Lincoln Land Community College
Dr. Lynn said, “I am serving as Interim President of Lincoln Land Community College
while the board of trustees continues its presidential search to find a successor for Jim Howard.
All of us at Lincoln Land are pleased to have the opportunity to serve as host for this gathering of
Illinois leaders of higher education. This is my first experience at working in a community
college, and in just a few short weeks, I have gained a deeper understanding of the important role
community colleges play in higher education. Before I accepted this position, I had not fully
appreciated the significance of Lincoln Land and its sister institutions changing their designations
from junior colleges to community colleges. The term ‘community college’ more accurately
describes their expansive mandate to meet a wide variety of diverse educational needs in the
communities they serve. I am still in awe of all the expectations and demands placed on our
“At Lincoln Land, hundreds of students graduate each year and continue their education
at four-year universities and colleges throughout our state, and often go on to graduate studies.
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